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Escape route blocked with code lock

Guest William

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Guest William

My daughter has started work in a small shop which has a front and back exit and are both identified as fire exits, as they have emergency exit signs, the front door has a single key operated lock on both sides of the door, when the store is first opened the front door is locked behind them, the key is not left in the lock and not all members of staff have a key.

The rear door has 2 mortise dead locks a bolt and rim latch lock the dead locks and bolt are unlocked as soon as the store is opened,

Where I have a concern and I can't see to find the answer is that there is a fire door between the front exit and rear exit, this door has a mechanical code lock, my concern is that if a fire started in the front of the shop and the only safe exit was through the rear door, in a panic she may not be able to remember the number or if the room was filling with smoke she couldn't see the numbers.

I would be interested to hear your views with regards to the lock on the front door along with the code lock on the internal door.

Kind regards,


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The first thing is, does the premises require two fire exits? I am assuming the front area is the shop and the back area is the storeroom, what is the travel distance from anywhere in the shop to the front door, if it is less than 18 metres then the rear fire exit is not required for the shop. However if somebody is working in the storeroom and when the intermediate door is opened they cannot get to the front door, because of fire, they can use the rear door. (This a inner room situation.)

All doors required for means of escape in fire should be easily opened without need of a key, so when the front door it is first opened it should remain open, just keep the closed sign in place. The thumb turn on the rim lock of the back door is acceptable providing the two dead locks are open.

Has the premises conducted a Fire Risk Assessment, which is necessary in accordance with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

Check out https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/422175/9449_Offices_and_Shops_v2.pdf


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